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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 16, 2019 3:00am-3:31am BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines: back under control after a major fire rips through notre dame cathedral in paris, one of a very warm welcome to bbc news, the world's most famous landmarks. broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. the wooden roof has been destroyed, my name is mike embley. our top stories: devastation and destruction — but officials say the main structure has survived. one of the world's architectural firefighters say the blaze could be wonders, notre dame cathedral, linked to ongoing restoration work. in paris, has been left in ruins by a fire. these are the first pictures of the devastation inside where investigators are trying these are the live to establish the severity pictures of the historic building of the damage to the structure and firefighters say the fire and its contents. is now under control. president emmanuel macro has pledged to rebuild it, the structure and its two main seeking international help. despite major efforts towers have been saved. to fight the fire, people were left shocked some of the interior has also been the moment the spire collapsed. it's feared the rose windows have saved. been destroyed along with some despite major efforts to stop the blaze spreading, paintings and other and just a few hours artefacts, although many, after the fire began, including a crown of thorns people were left shocked the moment and a medieval royal tunic, the spire collapsed. these are the first are safe. pictures from inside, where investigators are trying to establish the severity of the damage to the structure and its contents. parisians try to raise each others a former soldier is to be charged
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with murdering a teenager spirits with singing. president macron vows the catherdal will be rebuilt. firefighters say they have now got under control the fire that engulfed notre dame catherdral in paris. on monday evening, the smoke and flames could be seen blazing from all over the city, and the iconic steeple collapsed. the extent of the damage may not be a bad as first feared, but what is visible is bad enough. one firefighter is thought to have been seriously injured. president macron has vowed to rebuild the monument. our first report is from paris correspondent lucy williamson. it was, said the president, a part of france that burned today, a part that stood here for 800 years, through war, revolution and religious unrest.
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engulfed within an hour by flames. its ancient towers, beacons for both residents and tourists, crumbling into the blaze. as its current guardian watched through tears. translation: this is a national disaster, i'm very upset. this cathedral is 850 years old and to see the building fall to pieces, the spire to fall down just as we were renovating it, all i can do is pray. firefighters circled the cathedral to tackle the blaze. their cranes stretching to reach its soaring roof, a complicated and fragile operation, simply dousing the medieval structure with water was not an option, rescue experts said, because the building could collapse. to tackle the flames inside the building, firefighters had to climb up the towers.
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nothing else could reach. president macron arriving at the cathedral with france's prime minister, his face upturned in disbelief. translation: what has happened tonight in paris and notre dame is a terrible event. i want to first thank the firefighters, 500 of whom have battled the flames for several hours and will keep doing so for several more and maybe for several days. the flames are slowly beginning to subside now, but the damage is just beginning to reveal itself. the destruction of this mediaeval symbol of paris has left the city under a pall of shock and smoke. people packed into the streets around barely spoke, just watched. those who found the words for their impressions, one after the other, all said the same. translation: this is awful, it's terribly sad. it is terrifying.
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the fire is uncontrollable. i've been here for one hour and there is nothing we can do. the deputy mayor of paris confirmed the fire started on the roof and quickly spread. the cause isn't clear. police have begun an investigation but some have questioned whether extensive renovation work currently under way here might have sparked this massive blaze. the task now is to assess the destruction inside the building. its woodwork dating from the 13th century, its statues destroyed once before by revolutionaries two centuries ago. many things are said to be irreplaceable — great art, cultural heritage, symbols of protection and hope. what words should we use when it is all of these? lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. kevin connolly is in paris.
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i know you have been reporting for hours and it is now four in the morning. it seems to me a terrible thing has happened in some ways it could have been worse?” thing has happened in some ways it could have been worse? i think that is right. emmanuel macron, when he came down here, he cancelled a speech he was due to give on political life in france came down here and found himself talking about notre dame and the french determination to rebuild this national symbol but also saying that the worst had been avoided. the physical stone structure of notre dame is substantially intact. there is clearly damage, you can even see it in the darkness, but the worst has been avoided. that is not to say something terrible has not happened, it clearly has, but it could have
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been worse and france will rebuild here. it was a terrible sight to see the spire collapse and the wooden roof going but it seems the stone of the vaulted roof below the wooden roof might have prevented much of the fire reaching the interior. there appears to be a hole where the spire went through but from there, much of the interior is not destroyed ? much of the interior is not destroyed? some photographs from inside the cathedral do appear to suggest that substantial parts of the stone interior are not as badly damaged as first feared. don't forget, earlier on, the intensity of the fire was extraordinary, flames shooting tens of metres up in the air. the stone structure has tremendous solidity about it. it
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took nearly 200 years to build it and that may have withstood the fla mes and that may have withstood the flames much better. it is a tremendous historical task of reconstruction here now. kevin, thank you so much for that. let's take a look back at the cultural significance of notre dame. it has survived the french revolution and two world wars. it has towered over paris since the 13th century. notre dame sits in the very heart of paris, on the ile de la cite, an island in the middle of the river seine. the fire is believed to have started shortly before 7pm local time, shortly after the structure closed to the public. horrified crowds gathered along the banks of the river to watch their much loved catherdral landmark burn. but also to sing the ave maria.
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fergal keane looks now at what notre dame means to france, and its people. in paris, the most desolate of skies, smoke and ruin and history billowing into the air. fire crews from across paris have come here to save whatever they possibly can, and the striking thing, standing among the crowds on the banks of the seine, isjust the silence, the quiet of people stunned by the destruction of notjust a great french cultural artefact but of one that belonged to the world. notre dame de paris offered an image of france that seemed eternal, even if the age of kings and emperors and powerful cardinals had long past. it was built more than 800 years ago when kings ruled by divine right, and grand and great cathedrals of stone and stained glass were designed to reach for the sublime. so this is an absolutely cultural disaster, for all of us, notjust the french, but also of european significance. paris had been the hot cauldron of gothic architecture from the 11th
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and 12th centuries, and it had influenced a whole lot of buildings in england, including westminster abbey, and all our subsequent cathedrals. notre dame survived europe's devastating wars of religion, and the age of revolution. it was a theatre of hubris, napoleon was crowned emperor here by the pope. at the end of world war ii, the bells of notre dame pealed the hour of liberation. its glories are a source of pride for the people of the city. translation: i speak to your english audience to share my immense sorrow, my immense pain in front of this catastrophe that has befallen notre dame. i have lived here for more than 30 years, my three children were baptised here. what the germans did not destroy was ruined by stupid fire. archive: higher and higher it goes up... the fear of devastating fire was always present. this was the mid 1930s,
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when the paris fire service drilled for such an eventuality, but it was a renovation in the modern age that prove catastrophic. these statues were moved for protection just last week. tonight, paris feels like a city that is mourning the loss of an essential part of itself. fergal keane, bbc news, paris. let's speak to the renowned historian, sir simon schama, who joins us on the line from upstate new york. good to talk to you. you are watching these pictures. what are you thinking? well, tragic mutilation, really. your correspondent was quite right, huge hole ripped out, into a common humanity. this emotional outpouring, people feel about paris in one of its great symbols. we live, after
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all, i kind of universe of instagram and disposable images and short attention span and something which really has concrete endurance to turn out to be perishable rather than imperishable has created a shed trauma. that said, there was a terrible fire at westminster in 1984. it was rebuild. the masonry structure was not destroyed and the more optimistic reports out of paris suggest an almost miraculous amount of the structure survives. the beautiful vaulting inside. a very moving speech by emmanuel macron about the rebuild. and if the old lady, it has seen a lot. it has gone through many, many damages. in the
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18th century it was restored. but all of that, the spire was entirely all of that, the spire was entirely a 19th century spire, the ober was taken down in the reign of louis 16, but it does not lessen this sense of the spiritual, social, communal death that happened. our correspondent helped us take on the scale of the history pointed out that when napoleon was consecrated as emperor it was already 500 years old. how significant the parts of the building that have been
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destroyed and those that have not? there are three beautiful glass rose windows. one immediately above the main door on the west facade. that window has no mediaeval glass in it whatsoever so that can be restored pretty much as it was. the two windows north and south are the ones that have a mix of mediaeval and 19th—century glass, particularly the north which has lots of mediaeval glass. they are a mixture of mediaeval and modern. they were designed in visigothic. , in the middle of the 12th and 13th century stop so they feel absolutely part of the original design. ——in the gothic
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period. we do not really have any reports about what has gone. again, there was an enormous window which shattered under the force of the heat at westminster but it did not melt. if you look at the enormous voltage space, that — vault, this beautiful uplift, that looks as though it has survived really well. the more flamboyant decoration — that also seem to have not suffered unduly. once the rebuilding has
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happened, the basic sense of being engulfed by this dark and beautiful mediaeval space with light coming through the windows once they are repaired or restored or redone, i think it will probably come back to us. think it will probably come back to us. it does seem a dangerous business, restoration. windsor castle, and others... yes, that's right. look, it is in the nature. also the destruction of palmyra, some huge blows. but this is what humans are like. we are capable of causing these terrible meltdowns and explosions but we humans are also capable of creating enduring,
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sublimely beautiful works of architecture and the best side of oui’ architecture and the best side of our nature will reassert itself in rebuilding this beautiful church. thank you so much for your time. taking you back to the live pictures. that is the scene right 110w pictures. that is the scene right now around notre dame. some other guest were saying there is history carved and —— carved deep into these buildings and there are not many buildings and there are not many buildings such as this one. it began in the 12th century and the major pa rt in the 12th century and the major part of this cathedral took about 100 years to build and in all about 200 years was not it does seem that quite possibly the stone in the vaulted interior may have prevented much of the fire from reaching the interior. more will become clear in the daylight.
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pol pot, one of the century's greatest mass murderers, is reported to have died of natural causes. he and the khmer rouge movement he led were responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million cambodians. there have been violent protests in indonesia, where playboy has gone on sale for the first time. traditionalist muslim leaders have expressed disgust. the magazine's offices have been attacked and its editorial staff have gone into hiding. it was clear that paula's only contest was with the clock, and as for her sporting legacy, paula radcliffe's competitors will be chasing her new world best time for years to come. quite quietly, but quicker and quicker, she seemed just to slide away under
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the surface and disappear. this is bbc news, the latest headlines: one of the world's most famous landmarks, notre dame cathedral in paris, has been engulfed by fire. firefighters say the blaze could be linked to ongoing restoration work. despite major efforts to fight the fire and just a few hours after it began, people were left shocked the moment the spire collapsed. there are fears for the rose windows, paintings and other artefacts, although some, including a crown of thorns and a medieval royal tunic, are safe. political and religious leaders have been giving their response to the events in paris. german chancellor angela merkel said: i am deeply saddened to follow the events in paris and see the horrible images of notre dame in flames. notre dame is a symbol of france and our european culture. british prime minister theresa may tweeted: my thoughts are with the people of france tonight and with
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the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at notre dame cathedral. president trump gave this response: so horrible to watch the massive fire at notre dame cathedral in paris. god bless the people of france! his predecessor barack obama said: notre dame is one of the world's great treasures. it's in our nature to mourn when we see history lost — but it's also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can. a statement from the vatican said: we express our closeness to the french catholics and the population of paris, and assure you of our prayers for the firefighters. and officials at westminster abbey here in the uk tweeted: devastated for our friends at notre dame and for the people of france. you are in our thoughts and prayers tonight. president emmanuel macron was supposed to be addressing the nation on the constant protests by the yellow vest movement. instead he cancelled that and went to see the devastation for himself. translation: what has
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happened tonight in paris, in notre dame, is a terrible event. i want to first think the firefighters. 500 of whom have battled the flames for several hours and will keep doing so for several more and maybe for several days. they fought the blaze with extreme courage, professionalism and determination. and i want to convey thanks of an entire nation. including support by the city of paris, and officials from notre dame, the worst has been avoided. even if the battle is not entirely won.
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earlier i got the thoughts of michael t davies, chair of architectural studies at mount hollyoke college in massachusttes. this is certainly an occasion that is just stunning, is unbelievable. a catastrophe that i think everyone, colleagues in paris and colleagues around the us, are really having a hard time processing right now. you must have been thinking a lot about it watching the pictures in the past few hours, what is the significance of notre dame to you? certainly to mediaeval architectural historians, it's a building which one can watch, literally, the development and maturation of gothic architecture. one of the first full reflections or examples of a building
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that was monumentally large and breathtakingly tall but also transcendentally light. it was just a tour de force in terms of its aesthetic achievement but also its technical daring. it was also perhaps the first building that really took advantage of the potential of the flying buttress to achieve both height and lightness. beyond that, i think notre dame has become a really synonymous, a kind of exemplar and icon of gothic architecture itself. one commentator i was reading said quite apart from its religious significance, quite apart from the people and things it commemorates, the fingerprints of its creators are in it from centuries ago, there is history, he said,
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carved and layered deep into buildings such as this one and there are not that many buildings such as this one. quite so, quite so. i mean, one literally has preserved the chisel marks from 12th century craftsman and sculptors that are recorded in the building. one of the great tragedies of today's fire is that arguably the roof structure was the most original part of the building. that this is a structure and really one of the few that has survived more or less intact from the middle ages that has been preserved. it was a real monument although not certainly on public view, it was a real monument to the craft of carpentry and the skill of mediaeval builders.
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and although clearly the spire collapsed and the wooden roof burned, it seems that the stone and the vaulted interior may have protected the contents. can you tell us more about the contents? well yes, that's one of the miracles, i suppose, the few bright points in today's events, that the vault, the masonry ceiling of the building did not collapse. but within notre dame one has a real museum of art spanning from the 13th century and stained glass through one of the very few ensembles of the 14th century sculpture to survive today. in the choir enclosure, the treasury, shelters such relics as the crown of thorns and the tunic of louis ix, saint louis.
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and there is an incredible collection of paintings that decorate the chapels and interior, many of which were donated in the 17th century by the guild of goldsmiths as pious offerings to notre dame. that was recorded a short time ago. notre dame's main structure, we are told, is saved and the interior is not totally destroyed. many a rtefa cts not totally destroyed. many artefacts have been rescued and many had already been removed for restoration and cleaning work. let's look back at some of the images of the day.
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hello there, good morning. there's more spring sunshine and more spring warmth on the way as we head towards the easter weekend. the weekend just gone was quite chilly, temperatures about 12. an easterly wind and the air coming all the way from the baltic. but look what happens over the next few days. a lot of that blue, colder air gets pushed away and it really heats up across central parts of europe and that is where we are going to get our weather coming from. we will be developing this south—easterly breeze and it will be warming up everywhere. mid—20s perhaps by saturday. on monday, in the sunshine, it felt pleasant enough. we had temperatures here in london of 15 degrees. likewise in liverpool, merseyside. we've also had this cloud coming in very slowly from the west which has been bringing with it patchy rain and drizzle. earlier on it was quite windy as well in northern ireland
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and here in cornwall, unseasonable weather. the winds are easing down and the rain is edging its way further eastwards. the clearer skies ahead of it are filling with cloud so it's frost free. temperatures five or six degrees. rain for northern ireland heading across to wales and the west country. the rain in the south petering out to a certain extent. the rain lighter and patchy in the afternoon heading into western scotland. eastern scotland, eastern england likely to be dry, a lot of cloud around. best of the sunshine towards the east coast and north—eastern parts of scotland. the winds won't be as strong on tuesday but still an onshore breeze coming into eastern scotland, north—east england. so a little bit on the chilly side here. under the cloud, temperatures typically ten or 13. a touch higher in the london area if it brightens up. more especially for cornwall and devon where we should see some sunshine. more sunshine on the
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way on wednesday. some mist and fog around early on across wales, west midlands and the south west. some patchy cloud developing and you could just squeeze out a light shower through the east midlands towards the south—east of england. unlucky if you catch those. generally it is dry, more sunshine and more warmth as temperatures climb to 17 or 18. it's set to get warmer over the coming few days as well. still high—pressure around scandinavia but we're drawing up our air from central parts of europe. not only is it warmer but it's also drier, so more sunshine around as well. a dry few days and temperatures rising everywhere. the peak of the temperatures will be on saturday and it could get 24 or 25. then starts to cool down a little bit and we may see some rain arriving in the north—west.
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